If you’re ever going to have mackerel, sardines, and anchovies in a single seating, we suggest you leave it in the hands of Chef Frank Pabst. Frank is the Executive Chef at the award-winning Blue Water Café and each year, they’ve been encouraging diners to take a walk on the more adventurous and sustainable side, by indulging in lesser-known ingredients from the sea.
The result is the aptly named Unsung Heroes menu that showcases ingredients that you wouldn’t commonly find in fine-dining dishes – sardines in a blanket, sea snails with aioli, smoked mackerel, sea cucumber fettuccini and sea urchin mousse. I was particularly excited to try this menu as many of the unsung heroes were in fact familiar for me having being raised in a Korean family but never quite at the level of fine dining that Chef Pabst could deliver (sorry Mom!).
The menu not only using a breadth of ingredient but also draws inspiration from several different cuisines really taking the much-loved Ocean Wise program to a whole new level.
white anchovy bruschetta with marinated red peppers and buffalo mozzarella 9.50
herring “tartare” with ginger, shiso and green onion, ponzu sauce 10.50
herring taramosalata with grilled flat bread 9.50
stir fried jellyfish with pork belly, snow peas, wood ear mushrooms, cabbage, hoisin sauce 12.50
smoked mackerel, celeriac, green apple, watercress, pickled mustard seed remoulade 10.50
grilled octopus, morcilla sausage, roasted jalapeno, arugula, white bean puree, chorizo oil 12.50
stuffed with pine nut gremolata and wrapped “in a blanket”, shaved fennel, meyer lemon, black garlic 11.50
seaweed salad with cucumber, red onion, shichimi togarashi, ginger, sesame, tamari 9.50
squid ink fusilli, serrano pepper, garlic, white wine, clam juice 10.50
sea urchin mousse in a crispy shell with ponzu jelly and avocado 12.50
sturgeon liver pate, preserved beech mushrooms, pearl onions and mustard greens 9.50
sea snails on ice with tarragon aioli 9.50
Dishes range from $9.50 to $12.50. The Unsung Heroes menu is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. It will be available at Blue Water Café until the end of February.
This February executive chef Frank Pabst will celebrate the tenth anniversary of his sustainable seafood festival. Aptly named “Unsung Heroes,” Pabst initially created the month-long event to bring awareness to local and unique seafoods and to avoid species that are over-fished or harvested in ways that can damage ocean beds. It is now one of the most-anticipated events on the city’s culinary calendar.
Known for championing British Columbia’s sustainable seafood movement, Blue Water Cafe is a founding member of the Vancouver Aquarium’s ‘Ocean Wise’ conservation program. The restaurant strives to educate guests on seafood sustainability while providing an exceptional dining experience. Every year, Blue Water Cafe donates 10% of the proceeds from Unsung Heroes to the Ocean Wise program.
Address: 1095 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Dinner – 5 to 11 p.m.
Bar – 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.